|Publication number||US7292920 B2|
|Application number||US 10/801,344|
|Publication date||Nov 6, 2007|
|Filing date||Mar 15, 2004|
|Priority date||Mar 14, 2003|
|Also published as||DE10311241A1, US20040249535|
|Publication number||10801344, 801344, US 7292920 B2, US 7292920B2, US-B2-7292920, US7292920 B2, US7292920B2|
|Inventors||Alexander Maass, Klaus-Guenther Fleischer|
|Original Assignee||Robert Bosch Gmbh|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (2), Classifications (22), Legal Events (3)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
From German Patent Application No. DE 101 14 470, a tracking and vehicle speed control device for motor vehicles is known by which the course of the traffic lane and the position of a vehicle relative to the traffic lane it is driving in are ascertained with the aid of video-based lane detection. Signals derived from the course of the traffic lane and the position of the vehicle are transmitted to a warning device, which outputs an acoustic warning signal, for example, so as to alert the driver of an imminent undesired lane change. Such a video-based lane detection often yields unsatisfactory results in detecting the road course, especially in the case of roads with sharp bends. Much too often this is accompanied by false warnings of the warning device, which alert the driver of a lane change allegedly taking place. As soon as the driver becomes aware of these unfounded error alerts, the warnings tend to be disregard and overridden. The acceptance of this assistance system, which was actually meant to make driving less complicated for the driver, ultimately suffers. The cause of frequent false alerts may be roads that are not designed for such an assistance system and thus overtax it. Frequent errors in the lane detection must be expected, for instance, in the case of roads that have a radius of curvature of less than 100 m. This situation is often encountered on inner-city streets and also on entrance and exit ramps of expressways and highways. Furthermore, especially in inner cities, lane demarcations are disregarded by drivers and sometimes even intentionally ignored, for example, when trying to keep the greatest possible lateral distance from obstacles appearing along the edge of the road or with respect to other persons driving in too unsafe a manner, such as bicyclists. In such situations the emitting of a warning signal alerting the driver to a lane change tends to be undesired since it interrupts the driver and distracts him from the traffic situation.
The present invention is based on the recognition that a generally useful support system for the driver, in this case, a warning system that, as part of a lateral guidance system, warns the driver before leaving a traffic lane, is not always able to fulfill its intended function in a useful manner in special situations and will thus more likely be conceived as distracting. By careful analysis of the course of a road on which a vehicle is traveling, it is determined whether this road is suitable for automatic lane detection in the first place and also for triggering a warning device when leaving a traffic lane. If this is not the case, the warning device will be turned off, at least temporarily. This suppresses false alarms and the driver is not inconvenienced unnecessarily. The warning is reactivated only once it has been established that a lane course suitable for automatic tracking is available again. Overall, this leads the driver to put more trust in the warning device. In an especially advantageous exemplary embodiment of the present invention, the design approach of the present invention is realized merely with the aid of the means for lateral guidance already present in the vehicle. In further exemplary embodiments of the present invention, information from satellite-supported navigation systems or video systems is utilized in addition. In an advantageous further development of the present invention, the means provided for turning the warning device off and information are utilized for the automatic activation of additional comfort functions of the vehicle. For example, a speed controller may automatically be set to the maximum speed allowed in city traffic.
In the exemplary embodiment described, it is useful to view the final 90 m of track curve T1 in each case, that is to say, segment s1, for example, that has been traveled between instants t1 and t2. According to
A two-lane road having a minimum curve radius R of approximately 100 m on which a lane change is allowed, too, is used as reference in determining a useful threshold value B1. Driving on such a road that allows a lane change leads to a track curve T1, utilized as reference, whose width results from the sum of the width of the circular arc, given a circular-arc length L of approximately 90 m, a radius R of 100 m and a lane width of 4 m. Track curves T2, actually driven by vehicle 10, are then taken as an indication of a road course that no longer satisfies the minimum requirements for lane detection in those cases where width B2 of the actually driven track curve T2 exceeds that of track curve T1 provided as reference. If the previously defined threshold value B1 for a still allowed width of the track curve is exceeded by actually traveled track curve T2, this will lead to warning device 33 to be turned off or muted via activation of switching means 32 a.
In order to again provide the advantages of an active warning device 33 at the earliest possible time, a useful criterion is provided for turning warning device 33 on again or to reactivate it. For example, warning device 33 is preferably switched to active again when vehicle 10 has covered at least a segment s1, s2, of 1 km and, in doing so, has driven a track curve T1, T3 whose width B has remained below established threshold value B1. As an alternative, it is also possible to stipulate that a minimum value of the speed must first be reached again. For example, warning device 33 may be switched to active again as soon as the speed of vehicle 10 exceeds the limit of 80 km/h. Both criteria are suitable as an indication that vehicle 10 is once again traveling on a road segment that allows automatic lateral guidance. Under these circumstances, it is then also useful to reactivate warning device 33. Instead of a relatively simple classification of track curves T1, T2, T3 by means of a rectangle enclosing the track curves, in an advantageous additional development of the present invention it is also possible to adapt parameterized curves of a higher order to the track curves. For examples, parabolas or partial areas of klothoids could be used for this purpose in order to obtain more precise information concerning the type of road on which the vehicle is traveling and also of driving maneuvers executed by vehicle 10.
In an advantageous further development of the present invention, a navigation system may be used in addition. The vehicle position determined via the G.P.S. system is checked by alignment with a digital road map, so as to ascertain whether the position is within an urban area where it is advisable to turn the warning device off.
In another exemplary embodiment of the present invention, images of the vehicle environment are recorded by cameras. If the evaluation of the video signals provides an indication that the vehicle has entered an urban area, for example by showing heavily developed terrain or traffic signs indicating the entrance to a town, warning device 33 will be turned off.
In another advantageous embodiment of the present invention, additional comfort and safety functions, which facilitate the steering of a vehicle 10 in inner-city regions, may be turned on simultaneously with warning device 33 being turned off. For example, the speed controller may be set thus that the maximum speed of 50 km/h allowed within city limits is not exceeded. Furthermore, a system for detecting pedestrians, means for detecting pedestrian crossings or also a system for measuring parking spaces may be turned on. If the high beam has previously been activated in vehicle 10, it is conveniently changed to low beam. It is now also possible to utilize lane markings applied on traffic lanes 1 a, 1 b, 2 a, 2 b, in addition.
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|U.S. Classification||701/41, 701/117, 701/300, 180/170, 340/903|
|International Classification||G08G1/0962, G06F19/00, B62D15/02, G08G1/123, G05D1/02, B60Q1/00|
|Cooperative Classification||G08G1/0962, B62D15/029, G05D1/0278, G05D2201/0213, B60T2201/082, G05D1/0246, B60T2201/08, B60W2550/402|
|European Classification||B62D15/02K, G05D1/02E6V, G05D1/02E16B|
|Aug 3, 2004||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: ROBERT BOSCH GMBH, GERMANY
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:MASS, ALEXANDER;FLEISCHER, KLAUS-GUENTHER;REEL/FRAME:015639/0324
Effective date: 20040422
|Apr 27, 2011||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 4
|Apr 30, 2015||FPAY||Fee payment|
Year of fee payment: 8